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The Importance of Execution: Why Don’t Companies "Get This"?

It’s the foundation of our business at COMPROSE from Operations Mapping to Zavanta software. We write about it. We preach it. We’re passionate about it. We help our clients do it. It’s the underlying theme in some of the most popular business books on the market today – executing your mission. The really great companies are masters at executing and getting their operations down to a science.
One of our favorite books is Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. This eye-opening book discusses how too many business leaders “fool themselves into thinking their companies are well run” and simply don’t execute well.
The authors talk about execution being “the gap that no one knows” and how big ideas and strategies alone are useless: “… unless you translate big thoughts into concrete steps for action, they’re pointless.” Hmmmm . . .
The authors further cite: “Execution is the great under-addressed issue in the business world today.” In light of today’s economic downturn, that’s the understatement of the year!
So why do most business leaders not get this? As the authors point out, “Execution (operations) is not very sexy.” “Execution (operations) is something management often delegates.” When things go badly, people don’t usually connect the dots to execution and see how it relates to standardizing operations and streamlining business processes.
How well does your company execute? What about the last project that didn’t go well? What about the project you’re about to start? How do you hone your execution skills?
If you are involved in operations or are a leader interested in covering all the bases, we HIGHLY recommend you put Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done on your must read list.